Well, guys – this really REALLY the last one. We all knew that the new Killer Croc Collect and Connect series would be the last assortment from the lengthy Mattel run that has provided hundreds of figures to our collections. But, as is typical in the process of saying goodbye, I have dragged things out a bit by splitting the wave in two for review purposes. As precious at that is, now is the time to step up and finally give the farewell salute, for better or for worse. In doing so, let’s take a look at Dick Grayson Batman, Red Hood, Katana, and the very impressive Killer Croc.
If you missed the first half of this wave, you can check it out HERE. Alfred is, in my opinion, a wonder figure for the last assortment and absolutely needed for my collection. KGBeast is a great figure, too, so overall, I think this is a pretty balanced assortment both in terms of character selection, as well as product quality. With the four that I have left for today, I certainly have my favorites, but (spoiler alert!) none of the individual figures in this wave are as good as the C&C because Croc is just AMAZING. I love him even more than I thought I did, but more on that in just a minute.
Let’s hit the standard figures first.
BATMAN (Dick Grayson)
I mentioned the subtle bit of irony in my first review of the fact that, in an assortment that boasts the celebration of Batman’s 80th anniversary, there is not a Bruce Wayne figure in sight. It is kind of weird, but that did not hold out an actual Batman figure from the wave, and the former Robin and Nightwing dons the cowl here, and for the first time in a Mattel release. It is neat to have this representation in the line, but being completely honest, this is probably my least favorite figure of the series. That is more of a commentary about how I actually just like the other figures better, rather than saying this one is bad, because it is not. That said, I still think he is the least exciting of the lot.
To start though, what I really like are the two heads included with this figure. The costumed Grayson has just a bit of a smirk, which is something that you do not normally see with Batman, and the head proportion is actually good, especially considering Bat heads are usually too small. Additionally, that head can be swapped out for a down cowl and an unmasked Dick Grayson head, which is solid, if not a bit generic for my tastes. I will say that, while I appreciate the current body that has been used for Batman lately for its updated articulation, for Bruce Wayne, I have found it to be too skinny. However, for Dick Grayson, it is much more appropriate for his build, so there is some success there, even though it is still pretty lanky.
The two things that make this figure less exciting than the others, at least to me, is the lack of additional accessories and the fabric cape. I always hate to come at a figure for not having more accessories, and the alternate head and cowl are great, but since this is BATMAN, I am left wanting a couple of Batarangs or something. The cape is the most problematic part for me, though, and admittedly, I have a usual disdain for cloth on action figures to begin with, but this one just isn’t up to current standards. It really does feel just like almost an afterthought and a piece of any old fabric just hanging on the back of the figure. The cloth does not add anything to the figure, past maybe allowing him to pose a bit better, past that, it feels misplaced. This is not me calling for a plastic cape or anything, just a better cloth one. Other than that, this is a solid, if not particularly exciting, Batman figure.
It almost seems crazy that we have not gotten to Katana before now in some iteration of the Mattel six-inch lines, but I have no qualms getting that accomplished right under the wire. After Alfred, she was the one I was most anticipating in terms of character choice in this assortment, so finally putting her on the shelf is a big relief. She has somewhat escalated exposure as of late due to things like DC Superhero Girls and the Suicide Squad movie, so I am sure that helped her chances of finally being put over the edge and into the line.
That said, I am just slightly underwhelmed by the final figure, but that is COMPLETELY due to preference, because this, at a construction level, a great release. Personally, I would not have chosen this costume for the figure because it not overly exciting in terms of design. There is nothing inherently wrong with it, but she has sported more a samurai/ronin motif her costume over the years, and I guess I would like to see more of that here. The right arm teases this out a bit, but I would go for more. I will say that the head sculpt is really great, and probably my favorite of the standard figures.
You know, every action figure assortment has a figure that pretty much comes out of nowhere as the surprise of the wave, and for this series, it is Red Hood. For full disclosure, I was completely looking past this figure in light of guys like Alfred, Katana, and KGBeast. Well, that was my mistake because I really like how Red Hood ultimately came out, and overall he is great. I really like this costume because it sets him apart from the rest of the Bat guys, but he still has congruence with the group overall. He actually has a color palette that includes some brighter tones, and the titular red really stands out.
The sculpt and proportions of this version of Jason Todd are both very good, and while I can understand the grumbling about sculpted in guns, everything else is really nice. The jacket adds a nice dimension to the look, and I love the details in the red “hood” and the bright and shiny paint used to finish it. The unmasked Jason Todd head is good, too, so depending on your preference for this costume, you can have it your way. Personally, I have never been too hot about Red Hood, but now, I am very glad he is a part of my Bat shelf.
So, Killer Croc is one of the longest-standing figures in my Mattel collection, and his original release tracks all the way back to the DC Superheroes days. From a sculpting standpoint, that figure always has been, and always will be beautiful, but let’s face it, it was always kinds of lacking in the articulation and size departments. Well friends, just when a figure could be comfortable about not being replaced due to the line coming to a close – BOOM! This new C&C came and completely pulled the rug out from under the DCSH version. Sorry, dude.
This new figure is amazing. I love it even more than I thought I would. This is like the perfect update to that old figure in terms of version and style, but with everything amped up to the next level, including the size. This Croc is BIG, and I mean that he is one of the largest Collect and Connect figures we have seen in a bit. He is essentially King Shark from the waist to the ankles (the feet are new) so if you have that figure, you should have a good idea about the heft that comes with this release.
What really makes this, though, is the fact that the Four Horsemen CRUSHED the sculpting on the new parts, and it makes sense since Croc is right in their wheelhouse. The scales on the torso are rough and befitting of Croc’s hide, and the paint work really brings out the details. The main course, though, is the new head sculpt, complete with a movable jaw. This is one of the best representations of Killer Croc I have ever seen, and that extends to all media and merchandise, he is just awesome. Those red eyes that stand out on the field of green? Yeah, bad ass. I LOVE this figure and the entire series is worth it just for him alone, so don’t sleep on it.
Well, farewell, DC Multiverse/Universe Classics/Superheroes, I am REALLY going to miss you, and you have been an awesome part of my collecting hobby for a long time. The fruits of that collecting will still stand prominently in my collection room and I consider this to be definitive DC line(s) of all time to this point. It is weird, and you will excuse me for getting all nostalgic, but man, I wish this could keep going. I’m not crying, YOU’RE CRYING!
*Thanks again to the Mattel team for sending this series along to us for review, we appreciate it as always.